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Part of USS Mackenzie: Mission 11 – Wide Open Spaces

WOS 006 – Captains

Harris Ranch
Post FA
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“You going to say on the Olympic?”  Wren Walton and Peter Crawford were at the top of the bluff, looking down on the sprawling Harris Ranch, followed by the expansive Harris Transport.  Each rode a horse.

Crawford considered the question.  He knew why she was asking; he thought he knew.  “I don’t know.”  He shrugged at her stare, “The crew and the mission of the Olympic fills a unique need in the fleet. I enjoy working with them…commanding a starship is still new to me.”

Walton chuckled dryly, “That I understand.”  She patted her horse, “I didn’t care where I ended up…as long as I got a command of my own.”

“We both ended up on ships we needed…and they needed us.”  He smiled as she rolled her eyes in response, “It’s the truth!”

Wren understood.  She opened up, sharing about what had happened in the Delta. “I sat down with the CO of the Tokyo while we were stuck in the Delta Quadrant.  She lost more than I did.  We talked about getting back in the chair.”  She moved her horse forward on the path, and Crawford followed with his.  She continued, “Both of us struggled with how to get back in the chair…but we understood that we had to get back in the seat again.”

Peter pushed his horse to catch up with Walton and was soon parallel with her horse, “We lost our fair share in my commands, Wren.  Part of why I applied for the Olympic was the idea that I wouldn’t have to risk my crew as much on the front lines…I could sit in that chair long before reckoning with a loss.”  He apologized, “It sounds selfish.”

Walton slowed her horse to a stop, as did Crawford.  “You made your choice…and it was based on what you needed, Pete.  There’s nothing to be ashamed of.  You’re a Starfleet Captain…you’ve earned the right to decide what’s best for you.”

He played with the reins of his horse, “What if…I think you’re best for me?”  His eyes shifted to meet hers.

She felt the butterflies in her stomach start up again as she smiled nervously, “We’ve been dancing around it, haven’t we?”  She leaned back in the saddle, “It’ll be hard if they ever split up our squadron.”

He affected an offended face, “What?  Split up the dream team?”  She laughed despite herself as he continued, “We’re like Kirk and Spock…Picard and Riker…Janeway and Chakotay!”

She frowned at the last one, “Janeway was her own woman.”

Crawford put his hands up, “I concede that last point.  But seriously…if they split us up…we’ll find a way.  You seem to be taking more interest in this than usual.”

Walton felt her smile return, “I may be more invested in this…than before.”

Pete echoed her smile, “I’ll take that as a win.”